June 23, 2011

LOHAS: Jean Houston Tells Us How to Wake Up.

The awesome energy and vision of Jean Houston was evident in her passionate presentation today at the LOHAS conference in Boulder, Colorado.  Her capacity to express herself in cosmic metaphors staggers the mind.  As Ted Ning, the LOHAS conference director, commented, “listening to Jean is like attempting to take a sip from a fire hose.”

I’ve known Jean since she presented at the Windstar Foundation’s “Choices for the Future Symposium” in the mid-1980’s. Always animated, always laser focused on human potential… she is a tireless advocate for awakening human consciousness.

Her message today was more like a transmission than a talk. She challenges all of us to step into the fullness of our biological and spiritual design as human beings.

“These are mythic times of transformation on Planet Earth and we are the mything (sic) link.

Jean is a powerhouse of feminine energia positiva. She believes it is up to humans to embrace our creative capacity to bring peace, balance and harmony back into our communities and our way of being in the world. This is our great privilege for being alive in these times. Her radiant heart, brilliant mind and deep soul navigates through the ages; like Archimedes, she wants to apply a lever to move humanity’s consciousness past the cemetery of dead ideas. She is on a quest, a lifelong journey in search of the beloved and invites all of us to join her.

Her enthusiasm and passion allows her to spontaneously embody the wisdom of the masters. Extemporaneously quoting her favorite provocateurs, practically flying across the universe from Teilhard de Chardin to Margaret Mead or  Goethe to Joseph Campbell.

Of course, she took issue with Joseph Campbell’s insistence that there are no Heroine Journeys, only the Heroes Journey. This made her exceptionally popular with the women in the audience.

She shared fascinating research from 107 countries. It is women who are on the forefront of making things work in their communities. In fact, it is a specific subset of women. She characterized this phenomenon as “Post Menapausal Zing.” These findings are consistent with research from the Micro Finance world, unfortunately for men, they have found that money given to men in the developing world is often squandered on alcohol or consumer goods that have nothing to do with the sustainability of their communities. In Jean’s research 70 to 80% of all activity that sustains a community is being done by women. She reassured the men in the audience that masculine clarity and pro-active energy can be engaged to restore the biosphere; here is the kicker the renewal and restoration of balance and harmony must be done in partnership with women and Nature.

She emphasized this moment in human evolution is not about the “rise of women”, it is about designing a whole new culture of kindness, ushered in by an authentic co-creative process aligned with the greater story. That story is calling us all toward transcendent intelligence. For anyone who has had the pleasure of listening to Jean in person, you can probably here her and see her in your mind’s eye booming this mantra. We are being super-charged with the knowledge that this is the moment to wake up. Now is the time to contribute to the re-genesis of society by creating a social order in service to life rather than economic forces. We are awakening to new rivers of information, flowing like the Tigris and Euphrates of old, carrying the wisdom of the universe.

Here Jean Houston answers the question “Why are we here?”


As we ponder these deep questions, it is wise to keep in our awareness a lighthearted perspective. The Taoists suggest we are here to enjoy life; to dance with the flow of ever changing phenomena. Embracing with a joyful spirit the 10,000 things as they arise.

Jean’s stirring offering at LOHAS touched a resonant nerve with Marc Barasch, a Forum attendee, who launched his Green World Campaign, based upon his dreams. His own personal experience confirmed the essence of her presentation.

Marc shared the depth of his commitment to reforesting the world by referencing The Axis Mundi. All cultures around the world share this iconic image: the symbol of the Tree of Life connecting Heaven and Earth, awakening a passion for manifesting and bringing forth into the world our most cherished ideals.

Jean’s parting words inspired the audience to a standing ovation when she encouraged everyone to allow our personal liberation to embrace our inventiveness. She believes the Earth is desperately needing the “possible human” to emerge into the “possible society” thus creating an entirely new civilization. Our purpose is to separate a dying era from a new one being born.

Another Axis Mundi from the Mississipian Culture (Southeastern Ceremonial Culture)

This Axis Mundi is a representation of the Cedar Tree from our own continent offering an invitation for us to honor our ancient roots as we birth the new.

Jean Houston has researched creative change makers for decades. She wanted to know what motivates and inspires these agents of cultural transformation to persevere as they challenge the status quo. This is what she discovered…these tireless warriors and goddesses for the Earth and humanity are the ones who have awakened. They have discovered their true nature. As she put it, they all embody the ability to “marinate in their own imaginations, pondering the possible.” She went on to say: They are excellent spelunkers of their own creativity.”

I enjoy blending music with many of my posts here on the Elephant and this classic piece seems appropriate. I love to ponder my own path as I listen.

Everyone alive today is born for these times. Let’s step up to the challenge, the Earth is eager for all of us to wake up.

Onward with Courage.

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